Yesterday, The Post & Courier of Charleston, South Carolina reported that a local “Council of Governments [COG] approved a resolution…asking for the state to audit how its voting machines are working.” The “machines” are the 100% unverifiable ES&S iVotronic touch-screen Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting systems.
The Post & Courier not only mentions the fact that state election officials insist that the “iVotronic machines reliably tally votes,” but buys into the canard that “increased skepticism” is based upon [emphasis added] “human errors made during last year’s elections.” It adds that the COG resolution expressed “a concern [that the] voting machines…do not incorporate a ‘paper trail’ that could facilitate unequivocal confirmation of election results.”
If there is any state in the nation that should realize that casting a vote on the ES&S iVotronic amounts to an exercise in blind-faith, with or without a so-called “Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail” (VVPAT), it would be South Carolina.
While it might be helpful if the Palmetto State looked to their GOP neighbors in North Carolina, who filed a lawsuit seeking to ban the iVotronic after witnessing “widespread” touch-screen failures and vote flipping to Democratic candidates or to their neighbor to the south, Florida, which banned touch-screen voting systems after the 2006 fiasco in Democratic-leaning Sarasota County where the ridiculously high undervote rate (18,000 “lost” votes in the one county) reported by these unverifiable machines determined the outcome of a hotly contested Congressional race (decided by just 369 votes), the most compelling evidence for immediately removing (and destroying) every ES&S iVotronic is to be found in South Carolina.
If, as recently noted in “No Real Surprise in Recent Florida E-Voting Hack”, Sarasota provided 2006’s “canary in the electronic coal mine” moment, the DRE announcement that Alvin Greene won the 2010 South Carolina Senate Democratic Primary provided the “it’s the machines transparency, stupid!” moment.
Greene was unemployed; virtually unknown. He had no campaign website, no volunteers, no campaign literature. He didn’t even own a computer or a phone. His opponent, the respected circuit judge and former state legislator Vic Rawl had raised hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars, appeared at 80 campaign events; had hundreds of volunteers.
The numbers were beyond absurd. Lancaster County paper absentee ballots went to Rawl 84% to 16%. The unverifiable touch-screens in the same county, however, said Rawl lost the it by 17%. Greene received more votes than were cast in 25 Spartanburg County precincts. The votes of 50 other precincts were missing from the final count. Statewide, the virtually unknown Greene somehow managed to capture 60% of the vote, according to the iVotronic DREs.
Denied access to the iVotronic memory cartridges, source codes, and machines, Rawl nonetheless presented an impressive five-hour case to the state Democratic Party Executive Board in contesting the race. Two computer scientists testified that system malfunction provided the only reasonable explanation. Voters said they saw their votes flipped to Greene. Campaign workers saw poll workers swapping out memory cartridges during the election.
Rawl’s challenge of the machines was ignored by most of the mainstream media and summarily rejected by the Democratic Party’s Executive Board, largely for what has been described to The BRAD BLOG by insider sources as “political reasons”.